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Bees in the ground

Seale, AL(Zone 8b)

I am hoping somebody can help me. Out walking and checking on some of my trees I saw this hole about 3" in diameter in the ground at an angle and a swarm of bees going in and out. The bees aren't very big, but bigger than the ones always helping themselves to my Daylily pollen. Those guys are tiny and don't bother with anybody while working, but these guys seemed kinda fierce.

I thought all bees lived in hives of some sort. Can bees live in the ground and if so any idea what species , so maybe I can try and learn about these guys.

I am highly allergic to bee stings, but that don't stop me from keeping them around. We need bees as beneficials. Would be nice to know if I should leave them alone or carry a smoker when I go into that area. Thanks!

Greensboro, AL

Starlight: those are not bees, they are hornets of some kind. their sting is extremely toxic. Ive driven over them with the lawnmower and been buzzed and stung by them. i am not allergic to bee sting, but those stings nearly made me faint. I pasted my self with baking soda, and I did recover. I probably should have gone to the clinic, though. The groundskeeper's remedy was to poor gasoline down the hole. But, he got stung also. If you have them, I would get a professional ID and removal if you are allergic to bee sting.

Rose Lodge, OR(Zone 8b)

They aren't necessarily hornets (which bother me less than a mosquito sting).
There are TONS of ground bees.

Fowlerville, MI(Zone 5b)

Be careful!! Yellow jackets will nest in the ground also, and they are MEAN. I had a nest of them in the ground once and didn't know it until one night when my 10 year old daughter and I, each had a yellow jacket fly up the pant leg of our shorts and we didn't find out until we sat down once we were in the house! There was some real screaming and shouting going on that night! ...The next day I had a professional exterminator come out and he found the nest in the ground under a juniper bush along our sidewalk. He told me that the yellow jacket works around the clock, 24 hours a day, which is why we had them in our shorts at 11pm.

To this day, I'm scared to death of yellow jackets. ...What an awful experience!!!!

Bessemer, AL(Zone 7b)

For those of you that have ground wasp/bees, Wait till just after dusk, as they are all coming home for the night. Then pour about 1/2 to 1 cup of gasoline into the hole they are using as their doorway. I use a funnel to make sure all my gas goes directly into the hole. VOILA, never see another out of that site again. Works every time!

( Kim) Zion, IL(Zone 5a)

Ok I just found a bee hive nest in one of my houseplants yjay I put outside in the summer I guess that if you use gasoline it will kill the plant right? its a Palm tree I have 2 but I need to do something any other ideas what stuff you use to spray your brakes on a car? any help

Williamsburg, MI(Zone 4b)

The best bee killer in the world is the wasp and hornet spray (I use Raid brand) that shoots 20 feet. It comes in a foam too. We have lots of wasps and hornets and yellow jackets. I can stand far enough away to spray the nests even if it is in the cieling of the shed and not get stung. It drops them like rocks and kills the nest. I've used it on a bumble bee nest that was built in the insulation under a trailer. It's WAY safer than gasoline and doesn't kill the plants.

I hate to kill things ,but safety comes first.

Portland, OR

I have small bees in the ground and sprayed them with wasp & hornet killer and it did nothing except excite them a bit.
I'm going to give the gasoline treatment a try this evening. It might even be fun to light it...

Stratford, CT(Zone 6b)

Why? If they are bees, the worst they will do is pollinate your plants.

Rose Lodge, OR(Zone 8b)

drumz, sounds as if you're bucking for a Darwin award. Best to just let the bees play out their assigned role in the universe.

Portland, OR

Except they stung my wife which swelled up her ankle and hurt for days even though she is not allergic. We live in the country so I am not concerned that the few survivors can reestablish themselves.

One thing we found out is that making a paste out of meat tenderizer and then applying to the sting is a good pain reliever if done right away.

I agree that bees are very important but these were very aggressive and in a heavily trafficked location.

The gas worked great.

Bessemer, AL(Zone 7b)

These ground bees/wasp are called yellow jackets. I was just bitten several times while simply water a favorite flower. I did not move anything nor disturb them in any way. In fact, did not even know they were in the spot they were in. They just did not like me being near their nest. I ended up going to the hospital, the pain and swelling was so bad. Got me on the ankle. Had to take a steroid shot, along with antibiotic and prednisone for several days. The doc told me there were numerous people coming in with the bites. We are currently in a severe drought and the little rascals are very angry and aggressive right now. Dang tho, did they have to take their anger out on me? I will not be bothered one bit ridding those rascals tomorrow night with my sure fire method. I cannot take the risk of anyone else being bitten even more than I was. Terrific pain involved.

Rose Lodge, OR(Zone 8b)

That's too bad. Bee & wasp stings are like pin pricks to me, far less of a nuisance than some mosquito bites.

Seale, AL(Zone 8b)

One thing with being allergic to the stings is I keep cloves of garlic all the time in the fridge. If ya get stung and cut and rub the garlic juice right away on the sting then it hurts for a bit, but the swelling doesn;t come.

Rose Lodge, OR(Zone 8b)

No kidding. I wonder whether that would work with mosquito bites, which bother me more than any wasp or bee sting.

Although I've finally realized that if you do NOT in any way shape or form touch the mosquito bite, just leave it be, for the most part they go away.

Seale, AL(Zone 8b)

Ya know Summer.. I never thought about trying it on them. Somethign to think about. I know if ya don't have a clove of garlic that garlic salt works in a pinch, just wettign the sting and shaking the garlic salt on.

Camarillo, CA

If, they are yellow jackets---- I lit my propane torch and laid it so that the flame was across the hole in the ground. yes, they came out to check out the disturbance and were incinerated plus the returning members. I warched over the area as a caution. Do not try this if their is a fire hazard. It took about 15-20 minutes to incinerate the nest.

Williamsburg, MI(Zone 4b)

Oh, I love that idea. It's kind of like the burning bag of poop on someone's doorstep. Only they bees are done for.

I really HATE yellow jackets.

Hilham, TN

FYI. There's a product on the market called Stops the Sting that works extremely well on all kinds of sting, especially bees, wasps, hornets..... Check them out on their web site: www.stopsthesting.com there are even some videos of reporters who challenged the product by getting stung and/or putting their hands into fire ant mounds. Good stuff!

Seale, AL(Zone 8b)

Thanks for the heads up on that Mattie. Few weeks ago, I spent sevral miserable weeks where I didn't know I was by a wasps nest and they got my head and arms and back and down into my t shirt when I had put my hands up. Was not a fun time at all.

Wake Forest, NC(Zone 7b)

Gosh, I'm glad I grew up in the South where bees, wasps and yellow jackets were just a known hazard of having fun in the woods and fields. I am getting tired of tick bites but there can be so me bad consequences to them(Lyme & Rocky Mtn spotted fever)

Chevy Chase, MD(Zone 7a)

Yellow jackets have infested the base of a large white oak in our front yard that is on its last legs -- but the tree is still alive and we want to keep it going as long as we can. The tree surgeon told me the yellow jackets will not harm the tree in any way, but will just live in the area when the wood has rotted. I am a little dubious, but don't want to take action against the yellow jackets unless they are destroying my tree. Does anyone know, or know how I can find out for sure whether yellow jackets will eat/bore wood?

Rose Lodge, OR(Zone 8b)

NO. Yellow jackets do not eat wood. Mainly, I have observed them eating other insects.

Chevy Chase, MD(Zone 7a)

Thanks, Summerkid! Then I'll just let them be happy in our tree.

Columbia, SC(Zone 7b)

I have a ground nest of hornets in a brushpile in my back yard.I would normally just "live and let live" but they are smack dab in the middle of where I need to put in a new part of my garden and irrigation for my vegetables. Plus allergies to bee/hornet/wasp stings runs in my family. My brother was minutes from dying after just 4 yellow jacket stings.

Cannot (will not!) use gas as the fire hazard is too great plus we live near a waterway.

Is there some sort of insecticide that I can use as a drench to kill the hive? Organic would be wonderful, but the nest has to die.

Rose Lodge, OR(Zone 8b)

I had one like that last summer & this spring they had vanished. So maybe just give it a little time?

Rose Lodge, OR(Zone 8b)

Honestly, if allergies run in yer family, it is best to KNOW where the hornets are, in my opinion. Rousting them just gives them cause to roost elsewhere, perhaps in a place where someone will stumble into them unwittingly & get into real trouble.

Columbia, SC(Zone 7b)

Summerkid, go away. You are not helping or answering a question.
Please read the post.
I would like an answer, not an opinion.

Chevy Chase, MD(Zone 7a)


Wake Forest, NC(Zone 7b)

I hope all of you who are allergic to bee/wasp stings KEEP a small supply of Benadryl (or it's generic (available at all drugstores). If you do not know why, please consult with your doctor and get his/her opinion before you NEED to take this or other action following a sting which could threaten your or your loved one's life.

This thread is good to read but dangerous allergic reactions for you or loved ones warrants more professional advice.


Columbia, SC(Zone 7b)

pbyrley, you are exactly right.
My brother nearly died from one yellow jacket sting - he had been stung 2 weeks prior by several yellow jackets and not greatly affected. The Dr.s said that the allergic reaction to the stings builds up. He was then stung again by one yellow jacket - it happened to be at the height of the reaction. Luckily the person that he was with recognized the signs of anaphalaxis and rushed him to the emergency room. The Drs. said that if he had been there 30 minutes later it would have been too late.
One of my sons is allergic to fireants and nearly died - he stopped breathing in the emergency room when we got him there (he has gone through the desensitization shots and carries an epi-pen and Benadryl with him at all times).
We keep an epi-pen and Benadryl on hand.

Sorry for the blunt reply to Summerkid, but more people die each year from bee/wasp/hornet stings than all other fatal animal encounters combined. Shrugging off the stings because they do not affect her has no bearing on the questions posed here. That is like saying that just because someone else is not affected by poison ivy, I should let it grow in my shrubs where I work - I used to be unaffected but have developed a severe reaction to it in my greying years (a common scenario).

Rose Lodge, OR(Zone 8b)

pyro, you weren't being blunt, you were being rude. There's no excuse for that kind of behavior, and you are not the one to police who is allowed to participate in which conversations.

And read MY post. I was offering a suggestion that worked for me -- wait for them to relocate. And a bit of advice.

Go torch the pile & see how that works out, for all I care.

Columbia, SC(Zone 7b)

Au contraire, Summerkid, there are times when you are allowed to be rude. Blame it on old age, low blood sugar, had a bad day, or just working on my Curmudgeon merit badge (almost have it, but not quite there, yet).

What sort of idiotic advice is "it is best to KNOW where the hornets are, in my opinion. Rousting them just gives them cause to roost elsewhere, perhaps in a place where someone will stumble into them unwittingly & get into real trouble." Real trouble? You mean as in possibly dying from bee stings? Just how do you suppose that we found the nest, Sherlock? That they put a little "Welcome to our Hive" sign up in front of the entrance to the burrow and we stopped in for a lookielou, some tea and a biscuit? We were WORKING, putting in an irrigation system for my vegetables (that will not wait for a year for them to possibly move or maybe stay) and we were attacked and stung. By your "logic" (using the term very loosely) if it was a rabid dog we should leave it alone since it likes the corner of the yard with the willow tree in it. No, relocation is not an option, which you should have noticed by reading the part that says "the nest has to die". And if you had read the part of my post that said "Cannot (will not!) use gas as the fire hazard is too great plus we live near a waterway" you could have deduced that "torching the pile" was not an option, either.

(Hmm, I think that I am officially a Curmudgeon!)

My question is, simply what sort/brand/type of an insecticide that kills bees/wasps/hornets can be used as a drench to be poured down the entrance hole?

If anyone has an answer to my question (including you, Summerkid) please dmail me.
Carry on

Rose Lodge, OR(Zone 8b)

Your blood sugar, mood swings, and encroaching feebleness are not our problems.

Wake Forest, NC(Zone 7b)

When I had yellowjackets at the edge of my garden four years ago, I had a Jack Russell terrier and I feared she would get curious about all the activity. I went to Lowes and bought the aerosol can of stuff made JUST for the purpose of killing the underground nest. The instructions clearly said to hit them several hours after dark and they would all be in the nest. I did and it did; fully successful. No stings at all

Of course, the old way was to light a road warning flare and run up and poke it down the hole, then run back about 25 feet. When the flare has burned out you can dig up the nest and put pieces of it into several brown paper bags. (only five or so stings) Twist bag top tightly and put into your mother's refrigerator. If she is understanding, she will let them stay and you can take out pieces when you go fishing. Best bream (i.e., bluegill bait there is). If the grubs start forming heads, it's time to get rid of them somewhere in the woods.

Riverside, IA

pyromomma, not sure if you have received an answer yet, but there is a product called Delta Dust that is regared as the most effective ground bee insecticide.

Columbia, SC(Zone 7b)

Thanks, jyhons and pbyrley. I will try locating the Delta and if that is not available I will ask at Lowes for that underground product.

Do they even sell warning flares any more? All I ever see at the tire store is glo-stix. LOL. I can see that being a big event in the neighborhood, but that sounds like it was back when boys were boys and tomboys like me ran with the pack - we blew up a number of things in my day.

Wake Forest, NC(Zone 7b)

I wouldn't event attempt to guess someone's age but my "flare" story occurred when I was in the 6th or 7th grade, about 1948. I remembered they were called railroad flares. Also, trucks carried them through the 70's or 80's at least.

Columbia, SC(Zone 7b)

You are a little older, but not much. We all ran as a pack in my neighborhood. Learned a lot about nature, learned that if you were a jerk that no one would play with you, that your mom would know what you did as soon as you did it thanks to Mrs. Potter or other neighborhood moms and grandmas, and that kids could figure things out without helicopter parents.

We invented our own games, made our own entertainment, and had a great time doing it.

Osceola, IN

If you get some seven dust, thats really good for killing bees, ants. Its also safe around pets. I also use it my house to get rid of the little ants. I will be useing the dust tonught, found a nest of ground bees and I did get stung 4 times by them.

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